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The Sonnet Lover Paperback – 3 Jul 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Piatkus (3 July 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749939001
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749939007
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 754,313 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Carol Goodman's work has appeared in such journals as Literal Latte and Other Voices. After graduation from Vassar Colege, she taught Latin in Austin, Texas. She then received an M.F.A. in fiction. Goodman currently teaches writing and works as a writer-in-residence. Visit her at www.carolgoodman.com

Product Description

Review

'Goodman's New England gothic sets up a chilling atmosphere and a gruesome scenario very nicely indeed.' (Guardian) 'A very slinky little spine-chiller.' (Evening Standard) 'Fulfilling...Miss Jean Brodie meets Donna Tartt..." (Daily Express)

Book Description

A wonderfully evocative literary thriller

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER on 9 Mar. 2009
Format: Paperback
I really wanted to love this book with its focus on a possible identity for Shakespeare's Dark Lady, and the C16th sonnet... but sadly I found it extremely contrived, with gaping holes in the plot, and characters I just couldn't believe in.

Rose Asher is an academic at a New York university. One of her students, Robin, (with whom some people think she might be having an affair, though no-one seems particularly bothered that he's an undergraduate and she's his lecturer...) writes a film script which gets snapped up by Hollywood (right!) but then is either pushed or jumps off a balcony on the night he wins a film prize. The possible pushee just happens to be the son of the one man Rose has ever loved, even though that was 20 years ago, and (again) she was an undergraduate and he was her lecturer. Despite the balcony being crowded with students no-one noticed whether Robin jumped or was pushed, and the main suspect is allowed to just run out of the room and no-one ever bothers to follow him, question him or anything.

The main characters then congregate at an Italian villa in Florence where evidence might lie that will reveal the identity of Shakespeare's Dark Lady of the sonnets. Did Robin find them (even though he's just an undergradute, not even sure he's that interested in literature, and Rose's ex-lover is a Renaissance professor who's been living there for the last twenty years and has never found anything...) and why would someone want to kill him for this discovery?

More murders abound, there are a plethora of roses everywhere (not least the main character) some of which might be drops of blood. And tied up with this plot are various shady deals taking place between the academics, the film producers and the Italians.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tina on 18 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback
At first I nearly gave up on this book. The protagonist of the story is a lecturer in America, Rose Asher. Then one of her students fell down a building and everybody insists it was suicide, but she thinks otherwise. Her student claims to have made a major discovery about Shakespeare and his 'dark lady'. Then Rose gets an offer to go to a villa/academy in Tuscany (where she had been studying 20 years ago and got her heart broken by an Italian) for some work during the summer months, which she takes up, and while there discovers what really happened to her student.

The start of this book was extremely slow to the point of, as already mentioned, me nearly tossing it aside, but I persisted and was glad I did. It wasn't until our heroine went to Italy that the book came alive - the descriptions were very vivid and although I've never been to Italy, it made me feel like I was there. The book is beautifully written but is written in the present tense, which I personally do not like. This, and the slow start, are the reasons that the book is only getting four stars, but apart from this it was a pretty good book, and I will definitely read some of the author's other books.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dignitas on 12 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback
This book started out really well, good plot and beautifully written.

The deal breaker for me however, was the constant naval gazing by the MC. After the initial 'hook', the plot began to severely drag, and characters started to wander around looking for the storyline. My first degree was in English Literature and the constant quoting Shakespeare et al really started to grate on me after 100 pages.

In the end the author only succeeded in reminding me why after graduating, I switched to Classical Studies/Roman studies.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By V J Greenwood on 16 Jun. 2009
Format: Paperback
Having started with Lake of Dead Languages am slowly working my way through Goodman's books. I did 'A' Level Classical Literature in the 80's which was absolutely no use for my career, however, my love for the classics has stood me in good stead for Carol Goodman's books!
Like the others, The Sonnet Lover is un-put-down-able, a thriller that draws you in from the outset, beautiful imagery and a love story to boot. Goodman's books usually focus on Greek literature, but this one has a Shakespearian theme, the heroine of the story searching for the identity (reluctantly) of Shakespeare's 'Dark Lady'.

If you want a book written by a woman, with a strong female main character and a hefty dose of literature and beautiful poetry, then this is the book for you.
A very well written book, no pap or nonsense, looking forward to the next one!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 Nov. 2008
Format: Paperback
Rose Asher lost her heart to Bruno Brunelli in Italy 20 years ago. She has built a succesful academic career for herself and when circumstances conspire to send her back to La Civetta near Florence she is afraid old wounds will be re-opened. A promising student of hers - Robin Weiss - dies in mysterious circumstances which seem to be linked to his apparent discovery of the identity of Shakespeare's Dark Lady of the sonnets. But there is more than a historical problem involved and Rose and several other people are in danger at La Civetta. This is a tense thriller with a fascinating historical and literary background and gorgeous descriptions of the Italian scenery and the villa itself. I enjoyed it and recommend it if you like history mixed with modern day events.
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